Thursday, January 01, 2009

Stop & Shop scans its way into future

According to The Hour, Stop and Shop's Main Avenue location in Norwalk, CT is one of the first to demonstrate new self-scanning technology that allows shoppers to (at their option) use a hand-held scanner while they shop. When they're finished shopping, customers simply go to a kiosk to complete their transaction. The system is touted as a time-saver for shoppers (who don't need to wait on line to pay), and could have some interesting implications for customer satisfaction (since checkout aisles typically score the lowest on these surveys, unsurprisingly).

In addition to getting customers to use the devices and handling the in-store technical support issues that might arise, combatting shoplifting is another tough area that Stop & Shop has to address during this test.  As the article notes,  "In addition to other security measures, the system will select random orders for review. 'That's one of the most common questions we get: How do you know (customers are being honest),' [Steve Young, senior project manager for self-service technology at Stop and Shop] said. 'There's security built into the system and we do random checks. You always have a balance of convenience of security. It's something we consider when we develop these technologies.'"

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